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Film / Order No. 027

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Order No. 027 is a 1986 action film from North Korea. Yes, North Korea. It was directed by Ki Mo Jung and Eung Suk Kim.

The film is set in—actually, it's not completely clear when the film is set, but it's probably set during The Korean War. The North Koreans have received word that their South Korean enemies are assembling a squadron of special forces commandos for the purpose of infiltrating the north. The Northerners decide to beat them to the punch. They send their own squad of crack special forces commandos into the south, with orders to wipe out the South Korean squad and the staff at enemy HQ.

The North Koreans, led by their brave commander Chang Hyon, attempt to make their way south in disguise as wounded SK soldiers. But after Chang Hyon stupidly blows their cover on the train, the brave Northern commandos are forced to march south through the countryside. The South Koreans, led by SK ranger commando Jang Dal, are on the hunt for them. The only hope for the Northerners is Un Ha, a North Korean agent in the south, code named "Pomegranate"—who happens to be a beautiful woman.

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While there is a certain amount of North Korean propaganda in this movie, all-in-all, it's very much like a low-budget Hong Kong action film. Lots of kung-fu.


Tropes:

  • Action Girl: Un Ha shows that she can kick a lot of ass when Jang Dal outs her as a spy.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene:
    • Chang Hyon and Un Ha taking a little walk while the commandos are in camp, talking about their past, and what they'd like to do after the war is over.
    • Then there's Jang Dal walking into the bar where the North Koreans are supposed to meet their contact, and recognizing Chang Hyon from the train. They sit at the same table and have a drink together before Jang Dal sets his mooks on them, triggering a fire fight. (Did Michael Mann steal the Pacino-DeNiro scene in Heat from this movie? Well, he won't admit it....)
  • Bar Brawl: The second rendezvous point between the commandos and Un Ha is in a nightclub. But unfortunately, Jang Dal is there, and even more unfortunately, he recognizes Chang Hyon from the train. A violent brawl erupts and the North Koreans have to fight their way out of town.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: The North Korean commandos succeed in wiping out their South Korean opposite numbers, as well as the South Korean base. But of the fifteen or so squad members who go south, more than half are killed, including the group leader. Agent Pomegranate does manage to escape, however.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The North Koreans have an apparently infinite number of bullets they can fire whenever they get in a fight with the South Koreans.
  • Deep Cover Agent: Un Ha is a North Korean agent who apparently has been in the South for some time and has become a high-ranking officer. She knows Jang Dal the South Korean special forces commander personally.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: There's a lot of this, especially the first action sequence, when the North Koreans have to ambush and destroy an SK army outpost. Lots and lots of acrobatic jumping and kicking.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: One of the NK commandos is driving a stolen American jeep, on a collision course with the SK commandos. The NK commando jumps out of his jeep before it hits the SK jeep. Both jeeps are going 20 mph, tops. They collide and explode into a massive fireball.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The North Koreans have killed off most of the SK commandos and have blown up the base, and have even managed to steal a South Korean boat to escape with. However, a South Korean helicopter gears up to attack and sink the North Koreans and their stolen boat. Chang Hyon sees this happening and grabs hold of the helicopter's landing strut as it takes off. After it's airborne, he throws a grenade in the helicopter, killing himself but also blowing up the helicopter and allowing his comrades to escape back north.
  • Idiot Ball: The North Koreans have succesfully passed through the front and boarded a South Korean train, disguised as wounded soldiers. Unfortunately Chang Hyon sees a horrible South Korean civilian beating on a beggar child on the train. He intervenes, forcefully—and reveals that he and his men aren't really wounded. They have to jump off the train, making their whole mission much more difficult.
  • I Want Them Alive: Jang Dal orders his men to "catch them alive", because he wants the North Korean commandos for interrogation.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Un Ha is the only female character in the whole movie.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: It is perhaps somewhat plausible when an NK commando nails an SK soldier in the back with a hatchet. It is rather less plausible when an NK commando in a nightclub throws a chopstick and gets it to stick in an SK soldier's eye.
  • Title Drop: "Order No. 027" is the mission order, namely 1) to take out the SK commando squad, 2) take out their leaders, and 3) find out where the South Korean army is.
  • Traintop Battle: Possibly the most impressive action sequence comes when the North Korean commandos steal a goddamn train in order to escape the South Korean police chasing them. This results in an epic traintop battle between the North Koreans and their pursuers.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Apparently the South Koreans will, as one of them starts beating on a ragged urchin aboard the train south. This so inflames Chang Hyon that he comes to the boy's aid, thus blowing his cover.

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